Things I Can’t Live Without + Recipe for Shakshuka

If there ever was a fire, I’d probably only grab Canavar because he is more important to me than anything else in my apartment. And, having the tiny brain he has, he’d put up a huge fight so that I’d have my hands full with rescuing him while trying not to receive too many deep scratches (just saying because the other day one of Canavar’s claws got caught in my left ear and left a bleeding scratch – and I had only taken him into my arms to snuggle). Let’s hope this fire is never going to happen. If I disregard living beings, there are still a few things which I would find it very hard to live without. You can probably guess some of these. I’ve written often enough how much I depend on my smartphone [e.g. here]. Oh and coffee of course [here]. There must be a reason why the first thing my students ask me on Monday mornings is how many cups of coffee I have already had … or maybe I am really good in pretending that my mood solely depends on this drink, hehe.

When I wake up nowadays, I stay in bed for another few minutes and have Alexa* read me the NPR news. I am glad I bought this Amazon device on Black Friday because I enjoy its functions all the time. The dot is actually more than enough for me because I can operate it from almost every part of the apartment. The sound is also good, even without connecting the dot to loudspeakers. It doesn’t only read the news or tell me the weather forecast, but by now it (or is it she?) also knows what music I like and which jokes. It is fun to ask Alexa to open the box of cats because we can then hear meows – and Canavar starts looking for the hidden cats. Hm, do all these make Alexa a thing I can’t live without? I guess I could survive without it (her?), but it is such a great toy. I might not rescue it in case of a fire, but it is a great addition to my apartment and life.

I don’t only love my technical devices, I am also a huge fan of magazines. I tried reading online editions in the past, but to me the experience isn’t as enjoyable. I still prefer the paper editions. For this years I have ordered the Time Magazine*, the US Vogue* and People StyleWatch*. I am not sure how it works that yearly subscriptions for magazines are so cheap in the US, but (again thanks to the Black Friday sale) I only pay $ 35 for all of them for a whole year. They are almost as cheap now. I especially like that the Time Magazine is delivered every Saturday so that I have time to start reading it on the weekend. I feel much better informed. Also I think it is good to support good journalism by subscribing. And I realized that Vogue isn’t only fashion and beauty, but the magazine contains really good reportages on social and political topics. Well, StyleWatch really is to inform myself about the latest fashion and beauty trends.

Things I Can't Live Without + Recipe for Shakshuka | janavar

I often sit at home reading either one of these magazines or a book while having breakfast. Breakfast is an interesting topic. Most days I love it. Sometimes I just don’t feel hungry and go without one. It really changes. I remember that in Istanbul I usually didn’t have breakfast at home during the week. But my lifestyle there was very different in general so I think it’s due to my living conditions.  These days I’m craving breakfast. Sometimes I get up a little faster to make poached eggs on avocado or an omelette. Or shakshuka. God, I love shakshuka, i.e. poached eggs in a savory tomato sauce. It’s my favorite weekend breakfast dish. I first got to know it in Boston’s cafés, and it took me a while to realize how easy it is to make shakshuka at home and save those about $ 15. It also is a great hangover dish, just saying. By the way, I am aware that biber salçası isn’t widely known, but you can find it in middle eastern shops. Ask for pepper paste. If you don’t have it, you could use tomato paste instead and maybe a bit of paprika powder.


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast dish
Cuisine Middle East


  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion cut into small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tomatoes cut into small dices
  • 1 tbsp. biber salçası "pepper paste"
  • 2 eggs
  • salt cumin


  • Put the oil, the onion pieces and the garlic cloves into a frying pan. Stir-fry.
  • Add the tomatoes and the biber salçası. Fry for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are soggy.
  • Season with salt and cumin according to taste.
  • Break the eggs into the pan. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes until they are done.

Things I Can't Live Without + Recipe for Shakshuka | janavar

Even though I tend to forget about it, I need to live close to the sea. It is a given. I still shudder to remember when I lived in Dusseldorf for two years because no, the Rhine isn’t a substitute for the sea. I want to be able to listen to the waves. On Sunday I took a long walk on Boston’s Revere Beach, which I find in winter more beautiful than in summer [here]. It was almost empty despite the sunny weather. Instead there were many seagulls and big seashells. The waves gurgled, the seagulls bathed and shrieked. I should visit the beach so much more because it absolutely helps me to feel self-balanced. Unfortunately, there isn’t any café or shop there selling coffee. But otherwise walking along the beach feels like nearly like being on vacation for me.

Things I Can't Live Without + Recipe for Shakshuka | janavar

Is there anything you can’t live without?

© janavar

*contains affiliate links

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.